How to protect your COVID-19 vaccine card

Anastasia Goodwin

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 13 issue of The Daily Texan.

As more students become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, they will need to take important steps to protect their vaccination cards and should not post pictures of their cards on social media, a UT spokesperson said.

The cards, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are the same no matter where a student gets their vaccine, said Jonathan Robb, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness at UT. The cards include important information, such as the student’s name, date of birth, the vaccine manufacturer, date and location of the vaccination, and have extra spaces where other health information, such as future booster shots, can be added, Robb said. 

When students get their vaccinations, they should not post a picture of their card on social media, according to FBI guidance. Robb said if students have already posted their cards online, they should take down the posts to protect their information from being shared.

“(At UT Health Austin), we’re providing stickers that show that you’ve been vaccinated. … There’s plenty of other opportunities … to commemorate that you did get a vaccination,” Robb said.

Robb said he recommends students carry a laminated photocopy of their card or have a photo of it on their phone available so they can quickly show proof of vaccination if needed.

“(Students) will have their actual medical record card that they received. … They’ll have a laminated version that they can carry around, and we suggest they keep their actual card that isn’t laminated in a secure location, similar to a Social Security card,” Robb said.

The Office Depot at 907 W. Fifth St. and the Staples at 1201 Barbara Jordan Blvd. both offer free copy and lamination services for vaccine cards. 

If a student misplaces their card before receiving a second dose at UT Health Austin, Robb said they can still go to their second dose appointment, and they will be given a replacement with information for both their first and second doses. If they lose the card after both doses, students can go through the athenahealth portal or call 1-833-UT-CARES to get a replacement card, Robb said.

Students can request a copy of their official immunization record from the Texas Department of State Health Services, an Austin Public Health spokesperson said in an email.

Undeclared freshman Mackenzie Matwick said she is attending an event this weekend that will require proof of vaccination. 

“If I’m able to get a little further back to normalcy by carrying around my vaccination card or a copy of it, I will gladly do it any day,” Matwick said